Some of us have lived this and others are new at it – PCSing. Permanent Change of Station. This is probably the highest-rated stressors among spouses, both new to the game as well as the experienced. There are tons of tips out there to survive your first, or 5th, military move. Our first PCS wasn’t the greatest and wasn’t the worst but we definitely learned a few lessons for next time. For example – make sure the experienced packers do NOT include your glass shelves with your husband’s truck hitch.
I’m an organizer by trade and lists are my favorite. Here are a few items that should be included in your PCS season checklist:
- Take a deep breath. Moving is stressful but it’s also a new and exciting time for you and your family. Bloom where you are planted!
- Research your new duty station. Hawaii? Germany? Yes please! Bring on the new experiences, culture, and maybe a beach and a beer. I had so much fun researching Marine Corps Base Hawaii that part of me was ready as soon as we had orders. Volcanoes, beaches, and Mai Tais!
- Get your movers and packers lined up. Decide if a DITY move is right for your family or if having the military move you is a better choice. There are pros and cons to both so make sure you weigh them both carefully. Also, be sure and keep a watchful eye during packing. Every mover is different and you do not want to have your items arrive in a condition that would have been better if your 2 year old had packed.
- Pet Situation. OCONUS moves as well as Hawaii require certain tests and flight requirements for your pet. Make sure you know the rules and regulations for your new area.
- Housing. On base or off? House or an apartment? Again, there are pros and cons to both but make sure you make the best choice for you and yours. Opinions and recommendations are great but don’t weigh them too heavily up front.
- Join Spouses Facebook Page. In this day and age, everyone is on Facebook. Join the page and get acquainted with others in your new area. You can even line up play dates, coffee dates, and potential babysitters!
There are hundreds of moving tips out there because each of us military spouses have had our own unique experiences. Embrace the change and open yourself up to every new experience coming your way. Moving is never fun – regardless of when it happens. Just know there is a light, and maybe a glass of wine, at the end of the tunnel.
MCB Hawaii and Lejeune Resources
If you happen to be moving to Jacksonville, NC or Marine Corps Base Hawaii some great pages to check out are:
- MCBH Spouses
- USMC Officers’ MCBH Kaneohe Bay Spouse Group
- USMC Officers’ Coastal NC Spouse Group
- MCAS New River Wives
Michelle is a virtual assistant by trade, and a military spouse by love. Her husband Sean is a pilot in the Marine Corps, and they have been married for 4 years. Learn more about her virtual assistant services here: MichellePen.com.